MMM096-Culture and Competition

Module Provider: International Business and Strategy
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Denise Tsang


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Despite its profound effect on competition, business culture continues to be an elusive concept for managers. This module focuses upon the impact of business culture on competition. It comprises an inter-disciplinary approach with perspectives from strategic management, human resource management, general social sciences and the humanities. It aims to introduce the business culture concepts at both macro and micro levels and gives students some first-hand experience in understanding the values of nations, industries and firms. After introducing students with frameworks that can be used to identify business values, it will explain the patterns of competition in relation to elements of business culture.


To enable students to understand the main theoretical frameworks in relation to business culture and to ensure they can critically compare the differences across national firms attempting to develop global competiveness.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the Module students should be able to:

• Describe the principal variations in business culture;

• Develop a cognitive framework to appreciate the impact of business culture on business strategy and competition;

• Develop cognitive skills to operate in different cultural environments;

• Identify and explain the principal relationships between different competitive advantages and different cultural systems;

• Appraise and develop practical solutions concerning challenges arising from different business cultures;

• Locate and assemble information on the subject through their own work;

• Appraise critically the principal interpretations of the development of international management;

• Organise their material and articulate their arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays.

Additional outcomes:

Students will learn to work independently under pressure of time, and to organise diverse empirical material.

Outline content:

Lectures will introduce an intellectual framework that allows description and understanding of culture and competition in leading developed and emerging economies. The module will then introduce real-world case studies that highlight contextual variations of cultures and their impacts on the intensity of competition among firms. Topics may include: • The Culture and Values of Competition • Business Culture and International Expansion • Research based competition among US technology clusters • Can Bollywood go global • National heritage and the French luxury goods • Creativity and the intellectual property based British business • New world wine as new competitors • Guanxi and the growth of Chinese family firms

Global context:

Global competitive dynamics

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Detailed guidance on the main topics of the syllabus and key references are provided in lectures, seminar questions and discussions. Students are required to do a significant amount of reading of journal articles and chapters of books.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 12
Seminars 10
Tutorials 3
Guided independent study 175
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Oral assessment and presentation 30
Class test administered by School 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

1 essay of 4,000 words.  A word count of 10% excess is allowed for the written assignment essay (in the first week of Spring term)

1 essay test to be taken place in week 7 (timetable week 11).

1 presentation towards the end of the autumn term, in week 9,10,11.

Formative assessment methods:

Feed forward on essay.

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:

The pass mark is 50%+.

The merit mark is 60%+.

The distinction mark is 70%+.

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment is an individual essay of 4000 words. The mark is capped at 50.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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